Sound Vibrations Increase Solar Panels Energy Output

  • soundwave

If you ever felt energized by your favourite band, you'll be happy to find out that it has been scientifically proven that musical vibrations do increase energy outputs....in solar panels!

So far, that music was energy has always been more of a sensation rather than a fact. But the results of a study published this week show that solar panels composed by zinc oxide nanorods react to musical vibrations by generating up to 40% more energy.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London used the special properties of the zinc oxide material to study the effects of soundwaves on the performance of solar cells, and they were baffled by the results.

“We thought the soundwaves, which produce random fluctuations, would cancel each other out and so didn’t expect to see any significant overall effect on the power output” says James Durrant, Professor of Photochemistry at Imperial College London, who co-led the study. “However, not only the random fluctuations from the sound didn’t cancel each other out, but some frequencies of sound seemed really to amplify the solar cell output - so that the increase in power was a remarkably big effect considering how little sound energy we put in."

Not only that: researchers even found that the solar cells worked more efficiently to pop and rock music rather than classical. This is due to the fact that pop and rock as genres are characterized by higher pitched sounds compared to classical music, and it's the high pitched noises in general that stimulates the solar cells better.

"We tried playing music instead of dull flat sounds, as this helped us explore the effects of different pitches. The biggest difference we found was when we played pop music rather than classical, which we now realise is because our acoustic solar cells respond best to the higher pitched sounds present in pop music," Professor Durrant concluded.

Not only plants, then, are affected by the mighty power of music! If solar panels too can generate more energy when listening to their favourite tunes, this opens up a new horizon for a greener future. Indeed, this discovery could be used to create more efficient energy generating units, with great benefits for people and the environment.

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